Looking at a map, no one typically sees any reason to venture further north in Saskatchewan than Saskatoon. Saskatchewan is your quintessential flyover province, mostly remembered by straight highways and headwinds. We’ve gone to Saskatchewan at least 15 times in the past ten years and have never ventured north of Saskatoon.
This time we made it a priority to check out Lindsay’s home Province. As it turns out, Saskatchewan is beautiful, varied, and completely unlike what you would think of the prairies.
- Isolation – It was the early season, but we had complete isolation if we wanted it. Whether we were camping on the side of a lake in an empty Provincial Campground or eating lunch on the side of a river, we didn’t see a single soul, unless we wanted to.
- Infinite Lakes – It seemed like we saw a lake on either side of the highway every couple minutes. Small, crystal clear, and supposedly teaming with fish, it was different than anywhere else we’ve ever traveled.
- Slowing Down – We’re such point-to-point travelers, that this was our first chance to really slow down and try a different mode of travel. We went from Maine to Saskatchewan in 4 days… we needed to slow down.
By the time you get to Prince Albert, the Boreal Forest has started to blend into the open prairie. Drive to La Ronge, and you’re into the deep forest (which I never knew existed in Saskatchewan). We went as far north as 50km past Missinippe, but we could have traveled all the way to the Northwest Territories border, had we wanted to.
It’s remote, but the roads are plenty drive-able. The gravel roads in Northern Saskatchewan are very well maintained, and you can comfortably drive 50mph/80kph pretty much everywhere. The communities are remote, but not nearly as much as I had thought initially. As most dirt road travel, bring a spare tire and don’t drive like a jerk.
The “Must Do’s”
• Go fishing! We didn’t have our licenses or rods, but the locals made sure we were ashamed by this fact. Apparently, you really shouldn’t go into northern SK without a fishing rod!
• Visit Robertson Trading Butcher Shop and Store in La Ronge. Not only do they have AMAZING Duck and Pork bacon, but they have an impressive collection of pelts. From handmade beaver and moose slippers to entire mink jackets, this is a pretty cool stop just to browse.
• Spend the night in Meadow Lake Provincial Park. Just on the SK/AB border, Meadow Lake is a beautiful spot with plenty of hiking.